Today I had to go over to Kaiser Permanente early to have some blood drawn. Nothing dire, just some routine cholesterol checking thing. So I thought I’d comment on the whole being stuck with a needle. First of all, phlebotomists? When I was looking for a job and I’d see “help wanted – phlebotomists,” I always wondered what a phlebotomist did. It sounds sort of metaphysical or perhaps the job name for someone who takes out part of your brain. Anyway, I sit down and roll up my sleeve and the nice young woman asks me, “I’m a student, is it okay if I take your blood?” Hmmm, snap decision. Do I want someone to practice sticking needles in me? Honestly, the last time I had this done and the earnest young person asked, I said no, I’d like the experienced phlebotomist. But I like living on the edge so this time I said, sure, if you’re a very good student. I figured a little lightheartedness would be good. But this was serious business and no smiles were cracked. I grabbed a hold of the squeezy thing and sqoze it with all my might. She tied the rubber band thingy on my arm. She prodded my vein. I looked away. She undid the rubber band thingy. I looked back. No needle yet. Another go at cutting off my circulation. She mentions that I might feel a little pinch. I look away. Some more prodding of my inner elbow. And then, voila, she sticks the needle in and it’s over. Not even a little pinch. No big bruise. No gushing blood. Usually it hurts. I think I’ll ask for a student next time.

And speaking of blood, Jonathan called it blug when he was little. He’d run up to me after falling down yelling, “Mommy, mommy, blug!!” I wonder what cute things Nathan will say. He was due 10 days ago. Doesn’t he know that Nanie likes people to be on time?

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